Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Lakers traded point guard Russell Westbrook, a former MVP who is now on his fifth team in as many years, to the Utah Jazz.
An ESPN report cited the 2017 NBA MVP as a «vampire» who «stinks[ed] blood outside the Lakers locker room.»
Westbrook’s wife, Nina, was not thrilled with the sentiment.
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«This is just sick ESPN… Russell is not a vampire,» he commented in an Instagram post. «This is also a slander because anyone who knows this couldn’t be further from the truth.»
«I have school-age kids who have to listen to their peers repeat the nasty things you guys say about their dad on TV,» she continued. «I guess I’ll get ready to explain to my 5-year-old son that his father isn’t really a vampire, and that the mainstream media only says things like that to get attention.»
Both current and former NBA All-Stars also came to Westbrook’s defense.
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Former NBA player Carmelo Anthony commented «whose source is that,» while Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns and Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers also disputed the report, via the New York Post.
In the deal, the Lakers acquired D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt from minnesota timber wolveswho hosted Mike Conley and three second-round picks.
Westbrook will likely be bought by Utah and look for another team to join; He is reportedly interested in the Los Angeles Clippers.
The trade came just a day after Westbrook reportedly had a heated exchange with the coaches in the locker room at halftime of the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, just minutes earlier. Lebron James he became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
Westbrook has been traded four times since the 2019 season, and the Lakers are currently on pace to miss out on a playoff spot for the second year in a row.
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At the start of the season, Westbrook was making more than $47 million this season as he is in the final year of a five-year, $205 million contract.